Awhile back, with dismay I read about the 800 year old cedar that was cut down earlier this year in a protected forest, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, on Vancouver Island. The Ancestor was hauled away by poachers, who saw Her Majesty as commodity, to sell perhaps to make cedar shingles for roofing. How could a tree of this size be hauled away, which would require heavy equipment and perhaps a logging truck, without being noticed? Without anyone seeing the criminal activity? Part of the blame certainly lies with job cuts to park personnel. While at one time, 40 park rangers protected the forests, due to neo-liberal cuts, only 10 full time rangers patrol 1000 parks.
to smoke crystal meth. This Ancestor was the fifth oldest tree in the world. Tellingly, this tree also suffered from neo-liberal cuts and the neglect of the natural / spiritual heritage. As reported in the Orlando Sentinel:
The crime against The Senator started decades ago, when Seminole County let Big Tree Park become a haven for drugs and prostitution while doing next to nothing to protect one of the oldest trees on the planet.
Officials with the Sheriff’s Office have long acknowledged the park’s seedy after-hours reputation.
There was no concerted effort to stop the mischief that went on there after dark. No security cameras. No lights. Cursory patrols. Only a fence around The Senator’s base, and apparently not a very good one considering what happened in January.